Greater China: Hyundai hunting for agencies to handle China job

BEIJING: South Korean carmaker Hyundai is holding a pitch for two assignments in China, one project overseeing its corporate brand image and another to devise the launch campaign for its sports utility vehicle Tucson.

Three agencies are thought to be vying for the two projects: Beijing Advertising; Hairun; and TBWA. Beijing Advertising handles Hyundai's Sonata sedan brand but recently lost the business for Elantra, Hyundai's more upmarket passenger car, to Hairun.

The Tucson, due to start rolling off production lines in December, will be the third car brand Hyundai has introduced to China.

It is not clear how much the business is worth although a new launch of a foreign car in China tends to soak up between US$5 million and $10 million in media costs. The corporate branding budget is thought to be on a similar scale to the money put aside for the Tucson launch.

Hyundai currently produces cars in China in a joint-venture with Beijing Auto-motive Industry Holding Company, called Beijing Hyundai Motor Company.

The Tucson is priced at the higher end of the SUV market, where it will compete with spacious passenger cars, generally preferred by local consumers, as well as other SUVs. One of its main rivals in the SUV sector will be Honda's CR-V marque, which has sold well since launching in the summer.

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